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Eagles News: Philadelphia has one of the NFL’s most improved offenses

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/18/17.

Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

The NFL's most improved offenses: Can they sustain success? - ESPN
The biggest change with Philadelphia's offense has been the progression of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. As a rookie, he ranked 27th in passing DYAR and 27th in passing DVOA. So far, he ranks eighth in those categories this season, and his QBR on third down is a league-high 96.1, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Wentz had his first NFL game with more than two touchdown passes on Sunday when he tossed for four TDs against Arizona. Wentz has taken a much more aggressive approach to his passing this season. Last year, Wentz's average air yards per pass attempt was 7.28 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, which ranked 26th in the league. This year, Wentz's average pass has traveled 9.55 air yards, third in the league. Although he's had success with new deep-ball additions Alshon Jeffery (137 DYAR) and Torrey Smith (102 DYAR), Wentz's efficiency has been highest when he has targeted tight end Zach Ertz (181 DYAR) and receiver Nelson Agholor (171 DYAR) this season. Agholor already has as many touchdowns (three) as he had his first two seasons combined, and Ertz is on pace for over 1,200 receiving yards. While receiving back Darren Sproles was lost for the year with an injury, LeGarrette Blount has helped get the running game (seventh in DVOA) back on track after a slow start the first two weeks.

Carson Wentz is the favorite to win NFL MVP after the first six weeks of the season - BGN
Through six starts this season, Wentz has completed 60.9% of his passes for 1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 99.6 passer rating. (He has also rushed for 133 yards.) If Wentz keeps on this pace, he’ll finish the season with 4,224 yards, 35 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

Afternoon QB with BLG -
BLG explains why the Eagles have a claim as the best team in the NFL. They're playing with confidence and toughness and it's great to watch. Plus a look ahead to the Washington game and three over/unders from Stephen Lee!

Eagles vs. Redskins: 5 matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
In the first matchup this season, Graham absolutely owned Moses all day long, collecting two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two additional hits on the quarterback. Those stats don't even tell the whole story of how badly Graham dominated Moses, which we showed in gif form after that game. Similarly, Cox got the best of Scherff that afternoon, as he chipped in a sack, a tackle for loss, a pair of hits on the quarterback, and the game-sealing fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown. Here's Graham and Cox both destroying their blocks on that play.

Good Times, Good Times - Iggles Blitz
Football Outsiders also has the Eagles at #2 in their DVOA rankings. The Eagles are the top NFC team, just behind KC and just ahead of the Steelers. Honestly, all of this positivity makes me a bit nervous. It feels so much more natural when the Eagles are being doubted than praised. I guess this is a good problem to have and one I could get used to.

LB Nigel Bradham Gains Notice In Defense -
The reporters surrounding Nigel Bradham’s NovaCare Complex locker on Tuesday were four-deep. No kidding. They came in waves, and Bradham greeted all of them with a smile and an honest answer. It was like, and this sounds weird for a player who in his second season here and his sixth in the NFL, the world discovered him after his 10-tackle, two-passes defended performance in last week’s win over Carolina ...

Eagles’ Interior Addition Paying Dividends - Locked On Eagles
The Eagles are heavily invested in their EDGE defenders, that’s no secret. Brandon Graham was given extra incentives added to his contract this season that politely encouraged him to get to the QB. Vinny Curry has begun to live up to his 5 years 47 million dollar contract, at least against the run. Tennessee all-time sack leader Derek Barnett was selected 14th overall to add extra juice. What if I told you that despite all those investments, the Eagles were getting their most important pass rushing performance from the interior?

NFL players: Behind 'take a knee' lies this racial injustice - CNN
With the NFL protests ongoing, it's important to not lose sight of why they began in the first place. As NFL players and concerned citizens, we want to continue to shed light on the racial disparities within our criminal justice system, including the need for bail reform. In Dallas, a 49-year-old grandmother spent two months in jail on $150,000 bail after being accused of shoplifting $105 worth of school uniforms for her grandkids. She was not jailed because she posed a threat, but because she was too poor to purchase her freedom. In Randolph County, Alabama, 29-year-old Kandace Edwards, unemployed, homeless and seven months pregnant, allegedly forged a $75 check. Slapped with a $7,500 bail amount she could not pay, Edwards slept on a mat in the jail for one night before a judge granted her a temporary reprieve.

LeGarrette Blount advises Eagles to 'stay humble' after 5-1 start - NBC Sports Philadelphia
“We could lose 10 in a row,” Blount said Tuesday. “We could go 6-10, so we don't want to jump the gun, jump to conclusions. We want to make sure we take it week by week, day by day, keep a level head and make sure we're going to be ready for whoever the next opponent is.” Blount is one of only five Eagles players with a Super Bowl ring and the only member of the roster who owns multiple. The veteran running back won two of the last three years with the New England Patriots organization, which has been a perennial championship contender for the better part of the last two decades.

Patrick Robinson had been a great find for Eagles, now that he's found his confidence - Inquirer
“In the past, I definitely would get down about a play they made on me,” he said Tuesday, after the Eagles had practiced. “In college, I was that guy who played man-to-man the whole game against the best receiver, no help. That’s my side of the field. Whoever’s over there, that’s my responsibility. But when I came into the league, everybody is good. Everybody has that speed, that explosion, that quickness. When those plays started to get made, I was like, ‘Hold up. What’s going on?’ Back then, I was questioning my skill set. But now I realize that my skill set is still one of the best in the league. It’s more mental than anything.”

Ezekiel Elliott granted temporary restraining order, should play this Sunday - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys should have Ezekiel Elliott on the field this Sunday, and perhaps for longer, as the courts have granted him a temporary restraining order. The ruling came down on Tuesday night after an afternoon hearing in a New York court.

Andy Reid fell back into bad coaching habits in Chiefs’ 1st loss of the season - SB Nation
It’s easy to make fun of Andy Reid and his bad habits, but the truth is, he’s a supremely talented coach whose teams are fun and exciting in a way that stands out from the pack. This year, his Kansas City Chiefs got off to a 5-0 start by zigging while everyone else is zagging, and we’d love nothing more than to see him finally get that Super Bowl. But man, when Reid falls back into those habits it’s extremely frustrating. You know all the talking points by now — he doesn’t run the ball enough, he burns his timeouts too early, yadda yadda. On Sunday, Reid seemed determined to fulfill every stereotype people have of him.

Week 6 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
The strong parity of 2017 is even clearer if we look at No. 2 Philadelphia compared to other teams ranked No. 2 after Week 6. With the Eagles at 24.5% and the Steelers at 24.3%, we only have one team right now above 25%. There's only been one other season like that: 2011, when the No. 2 team after Week 6 was the 4-1 Ravens at 22.5%.

The NFL’s Parity Myth Has Become a Reality - The Ringer
That’s what makes this year so unusual: It’s happening, and the forces at work suggest that it may not be a fluke. The league will never have a season in which all 32 teams tie for first and last at 8-8, but it’s inching closer to it, so get those tiebreakers ready. This year, 14 NFL teams have three wins heading into Week 7—up from nine last year and five at this point in 2015. That year, there were five undefeated teams through six weeks; this year there are zero. But most shockingly, underdogs are covering the spread 60 percent of the time—and road underdogs are covering 62.5 percent of the time through Sunday.


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